HYPNOSIS FOR LACK OF SLEEP AND OBESITY

     According to a study of 1,615 adults by researchers at the University of Leeds, UK published in PLOS ONE,  lack of sleep puts you at greater risk for obesity.  The researchers found that not getting enough sleep was also associated with reduced levels of the "good" cholesterol, HDL, which can help protect you from heart disease.  It's good to know hypnosis can be a valuable tool in dealing with lack of sleep and insomnia.

    If your waist size is expanding, look at your sleep habits.  The study's researchers compared the amount of sleep with waist measurements.  The findings indicated people who slept on average six hours per night had measurements 1.2 inches greater than those who slept nine hours per night.

   If you are struggling with not getting enough sleep or an expanding waistline, call a hypnotherapist to help you sleep better and longer and lose inches around your waist.  Use hypnotherapy to BE WELL.

HYPNOSIS FOR INSOMNIA

    Do you find yourself yawning all the time?  You may yawn simply because someone around you has yawned.  A study conducted at Duke University in Durham, NC, found that almost half of adults are affected by contagious yawning.  In a few rare cases, constant yawning can also be a symptom of a medical problem caused by heart disease, brain disease or multiple sclerosis.  The disorder, sleep apnea, which causes frequent interruptions in breathing during sleep, can also cause yawning the next day.

    For most people who find themselves yawning all the time, it simply means that you are fatigued and didn't get enough sleep.  Sleep researchers believe that most adults need somewhere between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to be alert during the day.  For those who are sleep-deprived, exhaustion from lack of sleep is often the result.  In addition, M. Safwan Badr, MD, and a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in Darien Illinois, has reported that research shows those who sleep poorly often are poor judges of their level of alertness.  Dr. Badr, described one study in which, sleep-deprived adults reported feeling alert but took twice as long to make correct decisions as did those who said they were well rested.

     Good quality sleep is important.  In this blog are several articles on sleep hygiene which can give you some action items to improve your sleep.  In addition, a session of hypnotherapy can be a valuable to tool to improve insomnia and BE WELL. 

Appetite Increased by Lack of Sleep

     Another reason to deal with chronic insomnia - a study by researchers at King's College London and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, which was published in THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM found that a lack of sleep increases appetite.  The researchers compared the studies of brain imagery in men when sleep-deprived and when well-rested.  Sleep-deprived men who had been well-fed were shown images of high-calorie foods.  These images showed that activity in areas of the brain that control appetite were higher than those of well-rested men.  Those same men who were well-rested found the high-calorie foods much less appetizing.

     Check out some of my earlier posts on this blog about ways to deal with insomnia including hypnotherapy.  Although the study was done on males, it is likely true for females as well.  If you are having trouble with appetite, an underlying trigger may be lack of sleep.  Hypnotherapy can be another tool to sleep better, control appetite and BE WELL. 

LACK OF SLEEP - RISK FACTOR FOR STROKE

    Another reason to find a solution to your insomnia - a University of Alabama, Birmingham, study found that there is more stroke risk with less sleep.  The study  of 5,666 adults was presented in 2012 at the Associated professional Sleep Societies in Boston.

     The study was conducted on adults with low sleep apnea risk ad normal body mass index.  Researchers reported that 30% of working adults who regularly sleep less than six hours per night are four times more likely to suffer a stroke than people who sleep seven or eight hours per night.  This as the first study to find that lack of sleep is an important risk factor for having a stroke.

     If you are having difficulty sleeping and are concerned about this risk, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to help you get the sleep and the rest you need and lessen your risk for having a stroke.  Sleep well and BE WELL.

REFRAMING: MAKING OLD SITUATIONS NEW WITH HYPNOSIS

      Have you ever been to a yard sale or flea market and seen an old oil painting that you liked?  Perhaps the frame is beautiful and appealing.  But often an old painting has an ugly dark frame that makes the painting dreary and unattractive.  If you love the painting, you might buy it and decide to reframe the painting in something brighter and more appealing. 

      Sometimes situations and circumstances in our lives our limited by the frames of our thoughts, ideas and attitudes.  Hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to change the perception of the situations and circumstances to make positive changes.  You can use hypnosis to reframe a situation by reframing your thoughts about it.  It can help you to have a new positive perspective about a situation in your life. 

     A qualified hypnotherapist can help you reframe situations that you have been unable to change by yourself.  With hypnosis you can reframe your choices to choose to eat healthy foods, be comfortable speaking in public, stop smoking, exercise more or sleep through the night.  Make your life brighter and more appealing by using hypnosis to reframe old ideas, attitudes and thoughts that are keeping you from having the life of your dreams.

LACK OF SLEEP INCREASES RISK OF STROKE

     Do you regularly sleep less than six hours per night?  Research reported by postdoctoral fellow in psychology, Megan Ruiter, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, found that normal body weight adults who slept less than six hours nightly were four times more likely to have a stroke than people who got seven or eight hours of sleep each night.  The researchers followed 5,666 people age 45 and older who had no history of stroke or sleep apnea.  The researchers were monitoring these people for weakness on one side of the body and other stroke symptoms and identified the lack of sleep as increasing the risk of stroke.

     The researchers theorize that less than six hours per night of sleep can trigger high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Both of those are established stroke risk factors.  If you almost always sleep less than six hours each night, it's time to talk to your doctor.  Remember that hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool in dealing with insomnia.  See your doctor, see a hypnotherapist.  Get more than six hours per night of good sleep and Be Well.

BETTER SLEEP? LOSE WEIGHT

     Another reason to get a good night's sleep - a study published in 2012 in ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE reported that you need to get a good night's sleep if you are trying to lose weight.  The researchers found that dieters who got only five and a half hours of sleep per night lost 55% less fat than those who slept for eight and a half hours.  It is believed the reason for this is that dieters who slept fewer hours had a higher level of ghrelin which is a hormone that promotes hunger. 

     Insomnia and weight loss are two issues often treated with hypnotherapy.  If you are dealing with a chronic lack of sleep or are trying to lose weight, hypnotherapy can be a valuable tool to make those changes.  Sleep well, lose weight, and BE WELL.

HYPNOTHERAPY FOR SLEEP PROBLEMS AND WEIGHT ISSUES

     Another reason to get enough sleep. Recent studies have reported some significant connections between what is happening in our brains as we sleep and illness.  A shortage of sleep has been linked to a variety of health problems including Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and obesity.

    One in five adults in the United States show significant signs of chronic sleep deprivation health problems.  In addition, studies show that people who sleep four hours or less per night spend a lower percentage of their sleep in Stage 2 and REM sleep.  The lack of Stage 2 and REM sleep makes a person feel hungrier, crave more salty and sweet foods, and consume more calories than those who have more sleep.

    Hypnotherapy can be a great tool in dealing with insomnia.  If you have noticed weight gain and cravings for sweet and salty foods and are not sleeping well, hypnotherapy can help you get your sleep patterns adjusted. 

LACK OF SLEEP LINKED TO COLON CANCER

     In earlier blogs, I have talked about insomnia and the problems caused by lack of sleep.  If lack of sleep is a problem for you, be sure and read my earlier posts about insomnia.  In 2011 a new study on lack of sleep was completed by Li Li, Md, PhD, associate professor of family medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland.  The study was based on a survey of 1,240 patients who were getting ready to have a colonoscopy.  They were asked about their sleeping habits including the number of hours they slept nightly.

     It was found that the patients who slept, on average, less than six hours per night were 50% more likely to have precancerous lesions in the colon and/or rectum than those who got at least seven hours of sleep per night.  Dr. Li theorized that lack of sleep lowers the production of melatonin.  This is a problem because melatonin is believed to help repair DNA damage which is important in preventing cancer.

     If you have insomnia and particularly if you have a history or family history of making adenomatous polyps (those pre-cancerous lesions), then you are at greater risk for developing colon cancer.  Getting help for insomnia may include counseling with a sleep hygienist and over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids.  Hypnotherapy can also be a valuable tool in working with the issue of insomnia.  As you are sleeping better, your body will produce more melatonin and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

FIGHTING FATIUGE

     Are you feeling tired and worn out?  Do you complain about fatigue?  Although anyone can feel tired occasionally, if your fatigue is chronic, it's time to see your doctor.  Severe or frequent fatigue needs to be assessed by your doctor with a complete medical workup which will include bloodwork.  Your doctor will try to diagnose the problem that is causing your tiredness.  Since this can be caused by hundreds of different disorders, the first step is to identify any underlying health issue.

      If your medical doctor cannot identify any illness or specific health problem that is causing the fatigue, then stress or poor sleep habits may be the underlying issue. So the next thing to do to help yourself and relieve the fatigue is to deal with the stresses in your life, exercise more and get sufficient sleep. All of these are issues that can be dealt with effectively in hypnotherapy.  Stress relief, exercise motivation and insomnia relief can be addressed to give you the tools you need to feel healthy and energized once again.

LONELINESS AND HEALTH

      A recent study at the University of Chicago by assistant professor of epidemiology, department of health studies, Lianne Kurina, PhD, found that loneliness can hamper sleep.  This study compared 95 adults on a perceived loneliness scale.  Those who scored highest were found to also score more likely to experience restless or disrupted sleep than those who did not score themselves as lonely.  In the past, loneliness has been associated with several physical ailments including:  heart disease, high blood presure, cognitive decline and depression.  This new study may indicate that the link between loneliness and these physical problems is the poor and disrupted sleep the person experiences. 

     If you are experiencing restless or disrupted sleep examine your own experience to see if you are lonely.  If you feel that loneliness may be contributing to your poor sleep, it's time to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to other people.  Volunteering is a great way to get to know other people.  Make sure to choose a volunteer activity that will allow you to get to know others - working at the hospital gift shop or a food pantry will allow you to get to know more people than cleaning litter boxes in an animal shelter or picking up litter on a woodland trail.  All of those are fine volunteer opportunities.  But if you are lonely, choose an activity that places you with a chance to be with other people.  Taking a class at a community college or local gym can be great ways to meet others with mutual interests.  Or join a group that serves an interest you already have - a book club, a religious group, a hobby group.  As loneliness abates, your sleep may improve.

     Read other articles from this blog if you are still experiencing  poor sleep.  Remember hypotherapy can be a valuable tool for insomnia and poor sleep.

UNDERSTANDING STRESS AND SLEEP PROBLEMS

      In the past few days, I have had a number of clients complaining of the same two issues - stress and sleep problems.  This makes a lot of sense when you think about it.  The December holidays are a big stress for a lot of people.  Different types of stress are all coming together at the same time. 

     The first type of stress that clients may be experiencing is acute stress.  This stress caused as an immediate reaction to some circumstance and of short duration.  This kind of stress can be caused by trying to catch a plane at the airport or dealing with heavy traffic on the way to a party.  Though acute stress is uncomfortable, it is usually over quickly and often does not cause the problems of chronic stress.

      Chronic stress is stress that lasts during long periods of time and may be caused by different things.  First, there are environmental and job stresses. These may last for years but extra stresses arise at the end of the year.  December job stresses include: finishing off projects before the end of the year, trying to reach or work with people who are unavailable because of holiday travel, parties or who have already mentally shut down for the year and financial pressures as end-of-the-year numbers come in.  Environmental stresses include: all the home preparations necessary for holiday celebrations, crowded stores, and social expectations from family and friends.

      Besides all the external stresses listed above, there are also internally generated stress caused by worrying and being anxious about uncontrollable circumstances.  December seems to trigger high expectations.  We see the beautiful holiday parties portrayed in movies and on tv and shown in the latest life-style magazine and transfer those expectations to our own lives.  We worry about things we can't control - will Uncle Harry's drinking spoil the Christmas dinner?  Will Annie love the gift?  This year as we continue in the Great Recession, many people are worried about financial issues which seem even more problematic at the season of gift giving.  Credit card bills, mortgage payments, medical problems may all be causing anxiety and worry.

      December is often the time of the year when fatigue and overwork build up to a point where the body is unable to re-energize.  We're expected to keep up with all the demands of work, childcare, home maintenance and then add in all the expectations of a Hallmark Christmas.

    It is no wonder that often by the third week in December, people are seeing the effects of all the stress in their lives.  Among them may be physical issues.  With deteriorating immune systems, this may be the time when we are very vulnerable to colds and other viruses. Other physical issues may range from physical fatigue, to decreased interest in sex, to heart problems.  Emotional issues may include irritability and depression.  Eating disorders may be even more of a challenge during the holidays.  It may also cause sleep problems.

     Stress and sleep problems almost become a "which came first"  issue. Lack of sleep doesn't just make you feel tired.  It can actually make you more stressed.  In 2002, the National Sleep Foundation did a study called Sleep in America.  Those who got fewer than six hours of sleep on work days were much  more likely to report feeling stressed than those getting 8 hours (32% for those with six hours versus 16% for 8 hours).  This in turn reflected in their daily lives.  Study respondents agreed that inadequate sleep impaired their work performance (93%), led to health problems (90%) and made it difficult to get along with others (85%).

    On the other side of the coin, those stresses like fatigue, overwork, job stress and internally-generated stress can make it very difficult to get to sleep.  Your body simply does not want to shut down when you are upset.  The stress response produces hormones that act to keep you alert and defensive.  My clients often describe going to bed and immediately becoming aware their mind is racing with thoughts of everything that happened that day.  They think of what they "should have done" and what the "could have said".  They worry about tomorrow and are unable to sleep.

     Finding solutions for stress will in turn help sleep issues.  Exercise is a wonderful way to deal with stress.  By exercising you release endorphins to deal with the stresses.  Nurture yourself:  take a bubble bath, call a friend, take the dog for a walk.  Deep breathing is another way to relieve stress.  Hypnotherapy is an excellent way to do brief therapy to deal with the stresses in your life or with insomnia.  Nurture yourself especially during this holiday season.